Pittsburgh Newborn Sessions: Let’s Start at the Very Beginning

A very good place to start! This session took place when this wee one was just 7 days old. And she was awake for almost the whole hour and was so content! We started in this family’s gorgeous foyer. It had ample window light and lots of room so that I could back up and use my favorite lens.

kisses and snuggles

mom, dad, and baby

It’s so sweet to see parents swoon with delight when their baby yawns.

yawning baby

This might be my favorite shot of the session. I love seeing their faces so close together—the loving kiss of a mother and her baby so contented in her arms.

mommy kissing baby

We moved out to their front porch on this unusually cool day in August. Just look at that sweet pouty face.

on the front porch swing

I love how the light highlights her features while she rests in her daddy’s hands.

baby close-up in black and white

And this lovely nursery is going to be home to some wonderful memories!

in the nursery

At just seven days old, it’s hard to stay awake long. So this sweet slumber is a perfect conclusion to our session.

in mama's arms

Congratulations and blessings to this sweet family!

Pittsburgh Family Portrait: Sometimes the Best Location is Right at Home

I’m a huge fan of backyard portraits especially for families with young children. It’s less pressure on the whole family and it captures a place where the family has spent most of their time together. And in the particular case of this session, when it started to sprinkle, we didn’t need to reschedule and just moved inside until the rain stopped. Plus this bubbly little girl was so proud to show off her bedroom!

lifestyle family portrait

Just love seeing families walking together holding hands.

walking through the backyard

Big smiles coming from this little man on his swing.

riding on his swing

Love how her personality is just beaming here.

big sister close-up

Piggy back and high-fives!

piggy back high fives

What a sweet, unscripted moment.

kisses for daddy

And here’s the whole family sitting so nicely with their dog! And that’s one more reason why portraits sessions at home are awesome because it’s easy to just add in the family pet.

family portrait with their dog

The giggles in this image were provided by their daddy, who would run up and tickle them and then run behind me. Sometimes as a parent of young children, you end up with a workout during a family portrait session.

giggling at daddy

This should be a must-have in all family portrait sessions, because it all starts here.

husband and wife

And this big sister really had her heart set on being photographed on mommy and daddy’s bed. It was a silly and fun way to end a great session!

upstairs on mom and dad's bed

Pittsburgh Newborn Sessions: Why Scheduling at One-Month Old is Not Too Late

I got an email from this mama inquiring about a newborn session for her one-month old daughter. And the timing was perfect—I had an opening the next week. While there are a lot of recommendations out there for photographing newborns before they are two weeks old, I think this particular session goes to show the benefits of scheduling beyond those first few weeks.

bright-eyed baby

Just the way she holds her head up and makes eye contact is so amazing! Babies learn and grow so quickly and it’s so neat to see how this baby girl is starting to interact with the world around her.

baby smile

She’s looking into her daddy’s face and really studying him.

looking at her daddy

kisses from daddy

Love the lighting in this nursery.

mom and dad looking at their baby

And how baby girl is looking up at her parents!

baby looking up at mom

One last image before wrapping up this post, this view from the top of their stairs caught my eye as we were going back downstairs, this window light was irresistible so we stopped for a quick portrait.

a new family from above

With a lifestyle approach to this session, there’s no pressure for tedious posing or outfit changes, and it’s ok if the baby is sleeping or awake. So it’s a much less stressful approach for the baby and parents! When I left their home, this dad mentioned that he had fun and was relieved that it went so smoothly. And the mom said she couldn’t imagine trying to pose a baby and was so glad for the lifestyle approach. With a pleasant experience and a natural feel to the photos, I wholeheartedly feel that lifestyle photography is the way to go.

Cranberry Family Portraits: Celebrating a First Birthday

First birthdays are one of my favorite milestones to photograph. At one year old, little ones are so full of surprises and parents are brimming with excitement to celebrate their baby’s first birthday. It’s such a sweet occasion and it’s hard not to smile when I’m editing the images.

birthday girl

I love the curiosity that this sweet girl has for this book and how mom and dad are so enjoying sharing it with her.

mom and dad reading to their daughter

Getting this cutie pie to smile was effortless with her mommy and daddy at her side.

family portrait

So loved!

kisses!

We started this session at 7:30 a.m., what a great start to the day!

family portrait at the park

I love moments like these that aren’t real contenders for being framed and hung on the wall, but they show the sweet interaction that happened even when this family wasn’t looking at the camera.

a sweet moment between photos

And to conclude this post of non-stop sweetness, here’s a piggyback chase!

piggy back chase

Happy birthday, sweet one!

Cranberry Family Portraits: Multiple Generations

I am a big fan of backyard family portraits. I think I mentioned that a time or two. So when I got an email for a multi-generational family portrait here in Cranberry, I was thrilled! It was coordinated by a daughter as a gift for her parents during the family’s get-together at the grandparent’s home. Sweet! And she also mentioned that their family has exploded in the last few years with four kids ages 2 and under. Can I just be honest and share that’s a bit intimidating? It is, but I like a challenge.

First I’ll share the whole family as that’s where I like to begin when everyone is fresh and ready to go. I find that the best shot of the whole group is one of the first few images I shoot, so it’s important to have everything ready to go on my end, so that the first few shots are not a loss.

multi-generational family portrait

Then we break off into smaller groupings like this one of the grandparents and their grandchildren. For this one, I ask one or two parents to get behind me and do a little pep rally to get their kiddos looking in my direction. I’d say, they did great!

grandparents and grandkids

And then we go through and do a bunch of different combinations based on the family’s requests.

family portrait

three generations

And when the kids start getting restless and we’ve covered the list of must-have groupings, it’s time to photograph kids being kids, my favorite part!

learning to walk

eating blueberries

The dads suggested the boys race and I think this is one of my favorite shots!

race you to the sidewalk!